S L B g E I O h
5 7 8 6 3 1 0 4
Once these letters have been identified, the pupils can create a word bank.
They will notice that all the words need spelling backwards. To spell "shell" they need to input the numbers 77345 (boil = 7108; gloss = 55076; hills = 57714; hole = 3704).
As an extension task, ask pupils to find a way to produce a word that ends in "o" - this will require a decimal point (eg, hello needs the input .7734).
The class should then be ready to create calculations of their own that result in a given word (eg, when inverted 9619 x 6 = 57714 gives "hills").
The sums can be varied - highflyers can be given a checklist of maths concepts, such as square-roots and using brackets, and be instructed to include them in their calculations. Starting with an answer and creating a sum for it also provides a perfect opportunity to explore inverse operations. Once these skills are mastered, pupils can devise their own "calculator crossword". Each clue needs to have a sum to work out, included in a sentence. For example: Across: 1. 4 x 14277 for what water does at 100 degrees C. (Answer: boils.)
The completed crosswords can be photocopied and distributed to the pupils during the following lesson.
Art co-ordinator, Colmore Junior School,Kings Heath, Birmingham